Warp Four was formed in the early 90's by Pat Sheridan from Cork. By 1998, after many line-up changes the group honoured a long time commitment to veteran Irish folk singer Liam Clancy, to record two albums with him in time for the Dublin Cutty Sark Tall Ships Festival in the summer of 1999.
The resulting two albums, both on the Helvic Music label were Liam Clancy's The Wild and Wasteful Ocean (Warp Four are the backing singers throughout the album) and One Hundred Years Ago ( Liam provides a guest track on this CD).
WARP FOUR FESTIVAL APPEARANCES
July 1998 Cork Ford Regatta - the biennial Cork Yacht Club regatta - the oldest in the world.
August 1998 - Dublin Cutty Sark Tall Ships Festival
July 1999 -
Paimpol Fete du Chants de Marin - Brittany's biggest sea shanty
October 1998 -
Appearance on Gay Byrne's Late Late Show.
- the track Banks of Newfoundland - bought by DWA advertising
of Italy for a TV Commercial
- Paimpol 99 Festival. One number from their live performance
at this festival (Essequibo River) is selected for the
15th Anthology of Maritime Music by Le Chasse Maree. (released
in France on 25 Nov 1999).
- Mumbles Maritime Festival - Swansea Wales.
- Aonach Paddy O'Brien Festival Nenagh Ireland
- Hull Sea Fever 700 - Warp Four open the festival with their
show The Last Windjammer Boy.
- differences within the band lead to its winding up as a gigging
Decemeber 4 -1999 - Mini -reunion at the annual Galway Bay Lifeboat benefit bash.
Pat Sheridan - The founder member of Warp Four, from Dublin, (second from the left in the picture below) a member of the legendary 60's close harmony group Garland. During the making of The Wild and Wasteful Ocean, Pat and Sean had a major disagreement over the inclusion of African American shanties ( in particular Sean and Jack's version of The Johnson Girls). Things were never the same again, and as of Decemebr 2000 Pat had not spoken to Sean for two years. Officially the press releases said that Pat had left the group due to family and business commitments, in effect Pat retired from the band after the 1999 festival season and the band was discontinued in October 1999. Warp Four continues today as Pat Sheridan's shanty band (although we know of no gigs or festival appearances since 99). We believe there will be an official web site sometime later in 2000 on the Warp Story. Keep checking here, we hope to be able to link to that site.
Niall Fennell- is an ex- Irish army bandsman (French Horn) and harmony singer with Ireland's a cappella legends from the 60's The Pressgang. Niall now works in engineering with a firm that made the pumps for the space shuttle ( he's the high flyer of the group). He plays French horn with the University of Limerick orchestra and has been known to arrange a number of tunes for Warp Four.
Jack Harrison - lives on the shores of Galway bay where he sails at every opportunity. Jack plays fiddle and guitar as well as singing with the group. He also sings with a medieval choir in Galway and is a fan of the blues. He has an MA in Folklore from Dublin University which he uses professionally in his business (he is an adviser on heritage and tourism projects). Jack is second on the right in the picture below.
Sean Laffey - originally form Manchester in the UK, Sean also sings with the Guernsey based shanty group Jenkins Ear ( from whom he has picked up a few Breton sea shanties). He plays bodhrán and bouzouki and the low whistle. He edits Irish Music magazine in Dublin. A very busy man, when he is not working in music he spends the rest of his time running the Irish office of the University of Glamorgan. ( He is the one in the middle with the white baseball cap) See also Jenkins Ear University of Glamorgan.
Jean Louise McGuire - joined Warp Four as their guest concertina player or the Paimpol 99 festival. Jean Louise is a student at the Cork College of music where she specialises in jazz saxophone.
RECORDINGS TO DATE
One Hundred Years Ago One Hundred Years Ago - Helvic Music 1998
The Wild and Wasteful Ocean - Clancy O'Connell and Clancy - Helvic music 1998
Chants De Marin en Fete Paimpol 99 - released 25/11/99.
Paimpol 97 - Fete Du Chant De Marin - official festival CD.
Jenkins Ear - Clear the Track - 1994
Jenkins Ear - A Drop of Benbows Blood - 1992
Pressgang - 1967 (?)
As this is a non-commercial site, we haven't set up hyperlinks to these distributors, but you can find them with a little browsing.Warp Four CDs are available in Ireland through the Helvic distribution chain, and the Open Ear web site. Worldwide via the Internet on the The Bitter End, (UK), The Chantey Cabin (UK), Wooden Ships Music,(USA), Windrose Music, (NL) and Clancy Music .com (USA).
You can order CDs by CREDIT CARD by FAX ONLY , send a fax order with your CC#, expiry date and legible signature . to +353 62 62967 . Warp Four CDs are £12 Sterling Each, Jenkins Ear and Lusty & STRONG CDs are all CD-Rs and are £6 Sterling each. We will pay postage in Europe. Add £1 extra for US and Canadian orders.
The Last Windjammer Boy.
In 1994 shortly after completing the album Clear the Track with Jenkins Ear, Sean Laffey chanced upon an old sea chest. The find consisted of two whiskey crates from the 1930's, filled with diaries, log books and photographs collected over a lifetime at sea by George Hocart.
George sailed on board the Garthpool - Britain's last Windjammer that set sail on an ill-fated voyage in the grain race of 1929. Also on board the ship at the time was Stan Hugill, the great collector of sea shanties and author of the famous book Shanties from the Seven Seas. In Septemebr 1999 to mark the 70th anniversary of that sailing, Warp Four presented the show The Last Windjammer Boys at the opening of the Hull Sea Fever Festival.
WARP FOUR officially split at the end of 1999, but the flotsam and jetsam of the band occassionally meet up for a singing session. Niall and Pat were last seen in a bar in Mystic Connecticut belting out Copper songs in November 2000. Mick, Jack and Sean played the Fermoy festival in July 2000 as The Roaring Forties and Sean took a new project; Lusty and Strong to Brest 2000 that same summer.